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Volume 6 No. 212


Scottish League One club Rangers "hope to rake in" a £1.5M ($2.5M) windfall "that should ensure the club is not dragged back into financial distress," according to Keith Jackson of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Rangers CEO Graham Wallace "is in advanced discussions to raise the cash from two prominent investors" -- the Easdale brothers and hedge fund managers Laxey Partners. It is anticipated these loans "will not be repaid but converted into shares later this year, strengthening the positions of both groups at boardroom level." Experts in the city expect Wallace to make an announcement to the stock exchange next week, "confirming that the Easdales and Laxey have agreed to pump emergency cash into the club." A city source said, “The club says it has enough cash in the bank to continue trading at the moment but clearly Wallace sees a need for fresh investment" (DAILY RECORD, 2/20). The DAILY RECORD also reported Wallace claimed there is "categorically" no threat of a second administration hitting the Ibrox club. In an online video, Wallace "moved to allay growing concern among supporters over the financial state of the club." Wallace: "The board, myself, the executive team are working very hard to rebuild the club and we are midway through our 120-day review of every area of the business. What I categorically can say to all Rangers fans worldwide is that there is no threat of a second administration" (DAILY RECORD, 2/20).

EPL side Hull City Vice Chair Ehab Allam said should the club's owners fail to persuade the FA to allow them to re-brand the club as Hull Tigers, "they may be forced to raise season ticket prices by almost 50%," according to Louise Taylor of the London GUARDIAN. Assem and Ehab Allam, Hull's owners, "are understood to have lined up at least two potential major sponsorship deals with global companies for next season" but they are contingent on the word "Tigers" becoming part of Hull's name. If, when the FA meets to decide on the proposed re-brand on April 9, "the Allams are not permitted to introduce 'Tigers' Hull face the prospect of being without a shirt sponsor when the current deal with Cash Converters concludes at the end of this season" (GUARDIAN, 2/20).

A court spokesperson said that Barcelona has been charged by a Spanish court with "committing tax fraud in the signing of Brazil forward Neymar last year," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. The spokesperson said, "Judge Pablo Ruz has charged FC Barcelona with an infringement against the tax authority relating to the purchase of the Brazilian player (Neymar)." The club denied wrongdoing after it was "reported on Wednesday that Spain's public prosecutor" had asked Ruz to "lay fraud charges" (REUTERS, 2/20). ESPN's Dermot Corrigan reported "Madrid-based judge Ruz is currently conducting an investigation" into the "complicated" €86.2M deal and has asked Barcelona, Neymar’s father and FIFA for "all documentation relating to the transfer amid reported suspicions of the existence of different versions of the paperwork" (ESPN, 2/19).

Handball Bundesliga (HBL) HSV Hamburg President Andreas Rudolph "is convinced that the club will overcome its huge financial troubles," according to the SID. Rudolph said, "We still have quite a few opportunites this season, more than five months, to generate income. We have important home games. We are still playing in the Champions League." The 58-year-old added, "When I took over as president in November, I didn't expect such a mountain. But we will overcome it." Rudolph stressed once again that he "was not involved in the club's operations during the previous two-and-a-half years." The defending EHF Champions League champion revealed on Tuesday that "it has a hole" of almost €2M ($2.75M) in its budget for the current season (SID, 2/20).

A group of Real Madrid members will "take legal action in the next few days against a new regulation regarding what is required for club members to become candidates for the club's presidency," according to Marco Ruiz of AS. The "group of dissenting members is headed by Rafael Martinez Campillo and includes 15 other members." The proposed modifications to Real Madrid's requirements would mean presidential candidates would "need 20 years' experience as a member (instead of 10) to run for president and 15 years' member experience (instead of five) to run as VP." Any presidential candidate will also need to acquire a bank's pre-guarantee of 15% of the club's budget (currently €84M ($115M)), with the guarantee "having to come from an entity credited in Spain -- loans from foreign creditors would not be valid." This "financial requirement, in addition to a minimum of a 20-year tenure as a member, would drastically reduce the circle of possible candidates" (AS, 2/20).